The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival celebrated it's 47th birthday this past spring (April 28-30 and May 4-7, always the last weekend of April and first weekend of May) with the addition of the Cuban Cultural Exchange Pavilion. The Pavilion held Cuban artist demonstrations, Cuban cultural exhibits and the 13th Jazz and Heritage Festival Stage featuring Cuban musicians.
Never just a jazz festival, the other 12 stages at the Fair Grounds Race Course presents gospel, blues, jazz, Cajun, zydeco, rock, funk, R&B, Latin, African, Caribbean, folk, rap and much more. No festival is complete without food and New Orleans is foodie heaven. With two major food areas as well as smaller areas around the fair grounds, festival goers are are just steps away from crawfish, po-boys, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and dozens of other dishes that have made New Orleans a major food destination. But music is still the main reason 450,000 people celebrate the seveb day festival.
This years line up included Stevie Wonder, Harry Connick, Jr.
, Trombone Shorty
, Joey Alexander
, Maroon 5, Lorde, Alabama Shakes, Terence Blanchard
, Abdullah Ibrahim
, Kermit Ruffins
, Jon Batiste
, Kenny Barron
Trio, Usher and literally hundreds more.
No Jazzfest is complete unless there is at least one torrential downpour and this year was no exception. The first Sunday did not start until after 3:30 PM. Any Jazzfest veteran knows to bring a pair of shoes that will be left in New Orleans. The fair grounds get so muddy shoes are sucked off your feet. Still, as long as the musicians are on stage the rain keeps no one away. he following photos are from the first weekend.